August 3, 2016

The Journey

Today marks one year since my sweet love Jason left this world. I started this blog because I was desperate to make sure Amir was remembered for all the wonderful things he was. I intended this blog to be a place to remember and honor Amir, never anticipating it would become a home to grieve Jason as well.

What a year. I have learned so much about grief and the way the mind (or at least my meshuggene mind) works in this strange and difficult mode. I always believed (or assumed, since I'd never really been through it) that grief was merely the physical and emotional manifestation of missing someone you loved. It meant feeling sorrow and emptiness over your loss, feeling sorrow for what might have been. It meant missing that person at family gatherings and on holidays and birthdays and anniversaries.

But I always thought grief was relatively short-lived, something that got easier with time as you moved forward and missed the person less and less. The grieving process would go on longer for people who were dearer to you, but I believed it was a finite process.

I have learned that I'd been wrong all my life about what grief was. Not due to any fault of my own--I was fortunate enough not to know better until I was 43 years old and lost my beloved brother. True, I'd lost grandparents and a couple of uncles I loved. I cried for them and I missed them, but the sense of loss diminished as the months went on. That's what I thought grief was.

What I did not understand before was how grief would change me. I am not just grieving two people I loved very much, I'm also grieving the loss of myself. I am a different person from who I was before and I am actively grieving the woman I used to be. I miss her every day. I look at pictures of myself from before and I feel a sense of loss--I miss that woman who was untouched by grief and sorrow. She was much more relaxed, more focused and centered, more outgoing and easygoing, more fun to be around, less anxious and awkward. She had more love to give.

But now, she's more human. I'm more human having been through the most universal of human experiences--death and loss. I relate to others who have been through loss and I have a difficult time relating to those who haven't. I used to be them and now I envy them. How I wish I didn't.

I'm sure there are people who think I spend too much time thinking about my grief and that's why I'm not "moving on" (whatever the fuck that means) as I should. But they're wrong. I don't think about my grief. I think about the two beautiful human beings who are no longer here and what a fucking tragedy it is that their lives were cut so painfully short. I think about where they'd be right now, what they'd be doing, who they'd be, what they'd think of the election and world news and the heartbreaking thing that happened in season 4 of Orange Is the New Black (that's for Jason--he insisted I'd love the show and he was right, as usual).

It's a gorgeous day in New York today and I'm going to spend it with Jason. If that sounds weird, I don't care. I'm going to make the most of today because I'm here, I'm alive and, in spite of the heartbreak, I am optimistic and ready to start taking steps forward. One day at a time, right?